I was thinking what is the one gift that everybody needs? Is there truly a universal gift for all? Is it a gift I need to receive as well as give to others? I know I need this gift and I know I need to give this gift as well. This gift consists of Love-Acceptance & Forgiveness.
LOVE ... When a child is born into this world the one absolute essential it needs, whether it's a boy or girl is-LOVE! This need of love never diminishes. It doesn't matter if you're 10 years old, 20, 40, 60 or 80. It's a universal need that never, ever diminishes.
A song that comes to mind is, "What the world needs now is love sweet love it's the only thing there's just too little of." I know I can never get enough of it and must become better at delivering it.
I'm sure there's a person in your mind right now that God would have you love. Sure you can buy them a Christmas present from Macy's or Wal-Mart, but wouldn't the best Christmas present be from your heart to their heart. Like--just being there for them, giving them you. Jesus delivered it to us when we were still estranged from Him, in fact that's what drew us to Him. Don't Let Any Estrangement Get in Your Way of Delivering it as Jesus asks you to!
ACCEPTANCE ... Your mother needs it, your son needs it, your daughter needs it, your father needs it, your friends need it, your church brethren need it, in fact almost everybody you have some sort of association with needs it. No you don't have to lay down your standards or your principles-Jesus didn't. Yet He showed acceptance to the most downtrodden of society and the most despised of the church. They were drawn to Him because he looked down on NO ONE. Surely He knew how to welcome every sinner without condoning the sin. This is why He had such an influence with sinners and has such an influence with me.
Certainly there are individuals that are just longing for an earnest handshake from you. An enduring hug, a complementary smile, a word of encouragement, an encouraging phone call or e-mail, something, anything just GIVE IT. It will mean so much more than something from a catalog house.
FORGIVENESS ... Jesus offers it to absolutely everyone, if you can't why not? It breaks the cycle of vindication and revenge. Forgiveness means to give away your right to punish where by you release the one who has offended you from any obligation. It means you put away the offense. That is what Jesus has done for you and me. It's very freeing to all relationships. It allows for a fresh start. I know of no one in this world that doesn't need it or have an occasion to practice it.
Well there you have it, the greatest Christmas present and its universal.
Jim & Sally